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Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by N6NQZ, Dec 7, 2012.

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  1. N6NQZ

    N6NQZ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow! I'm amazed at how many SKs show up each month in the QST mag. Are there usually an equal, or more, additions each month? Or are the amateur ranks slowly dwindling away?
  2. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator QRZ Page

    We're born. We die.

    In between we work DX.

  3. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    We (including me) are a greying group. I don't know what the average age of a U S amateur is but I bet it's approaching the age one can apply for AARP membership
  4. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm past that. I'm WAY past eligibility for QCWA and now qualify to join OOTC.
  5. N5RFX

    N5RFX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think that is why so many nice Collins stations are showing up for sale.

    Mark N5RFX
  6. N0NB

    N0NB Subscriber QRZ Page

    Rather than thinking about the SK page as our ranks thinning, consider instead that with the advances in medicine and care during their lifetimes that a lot of these operators were blessed to enjoy a longer life and thus more time to enjoy their hobby.
  7. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its all the excessive RF that does 'em in

    Mel G0GQK
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The number of US hams has been growing since 2007. Back then there were less than 655,000, today there are over 709,000.

    The SK page has been about that size for a long time. No worries.

    Let's do some math!

    Assume 700,000 US hams.

    Assume 2.4% of them die each year. That's 0.2% each month. That's 1,400 per month.

    Assume half of those who die are reported in QST. That's 700 per month.

    How many were reported in this month's QST?

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  9. KA3JLW

    KA3JLW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've always wondered how QST/ARRL finds out about THAT many per month. They can't all be widows writing in, right? ...does the magazine come back "deceased"? They don't comb obituaries, do they? Does the FCC get notified somehow and QST is summarizing that data?
  10. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    I assumed that's how it works. But it does seem odd.
  11. KB9LXP

    KB9LXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think fellow hams send in a report....correct me if I'm wrong....or not!
  12. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator QRZ Page

    I suppose you could call the SK Desk in Newington and ask them, but that might be too easy.

  13. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Subscriber QRZ Page

    One may have to wait for several hours on hold for the next available representative.
  14. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    What happens is that friends and family send notification to ARRL. They do not go combing obituaries and such. Often an entry in the SK page is months or even years old.

    The notification must be documented, too, with an obituary, copy of death certificate, or some other official paperwork. FCC is the same way. I understand this was done because at least one ham pranked another by sending in a phony report - and FCC cancelled the license!

    The ultimate indicator of how many US hams there are is the number of individuals with licenses. This can be found on the ARRL website ("fcc license counts") and ARRL doesn't include grace-period licenses; does. I post the ARRL numbers on the zed and eham from time to time.

    The reason the license numbers are the best indicator is that, if a ham passes away, sooner or later the license will expire and not be renewed. It may take years but in the end it will happen.

    One thing I have never heard of is someone renewing an SK's license. I suppose it could be done if someone really wanted to - but why would they do it?

    73 de Jim, N2EY
  15. KA3JLW

    KA3JLW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So that many people go through the paperwork exercise to ARRL? I dunno, just seems like more than most would do upon a death. Contact banks and things like that, yes...but ARRL, with proof? I can't imagine how else ARRL finds out, but that just seems like a giant waste of time, especially when (for most) the subscription will just run out within a year anyhow.

    I get that some of the reports are months or years old - but every month there are, I dunno, 150 or more in there. That's a lot of people telling a dead person's club that they're dead.

    I'd expect this only happens with hams reporting about other hams. So people reading this - have you ever reported a fellow ham as deceased to the ARRL? Did you provide proof? And have you done so for multiple hams (ie, you take it upon yourself to file reports, as QST provides a final farewell?)

    I'm morbidly curious.
  16. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know I've clipped obits for hams and sent them in. Many times the families have no idea what to do. QST also demands some kind of evidence of the death in order to avoid frauds. Certain festering malignancies have been known to send phony reports to FCC, asking them to cancel a license so that they can 'harvest' the callsign.
  17. KA3JLW

    KA3JLW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cool, OK, that's nice of you to do, especially if surviving friends can see and appreciate the listing. Come to think of it, I wonder if my grandfather was ever listed after he died.

    If not, well, maybe its not too late
  18. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the reminder.
    I forgot to check this month.

    Nope, I am not listed!
  19. KO6WB

    KO6WB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated!!! It was a practice of some folks that covet another's call to actually look up the obituaries in the home town paper and send that in to the FCC along with a vanity request for the call and they would be awarded the call. To me that's just sick. I wish I could believe people wouldn't do that. Apparently it made the FCC somewhat uncomfortable as well. From now on calls submitted for cancellation in this manner are announced to everybody and you have 30 days to put your name in for the lottery to obtain it.
    As for the ARRL they rely upon friends and family to report the passing of an amateur with an obituary notice, original newspaper print if possible. The number of passing's isn't that many if you figure on a daily basis. It's only 5 or 6 per day and I doubt that would overwork anybody to do that sad task. They are then entered into the up coming file for publication in QST. Not that hard to do.
    Have fun
  20. KA3JLW

    KA3JLW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I never thought of it as too much trouble from the ARRL standpoint - rather, from the survivors' standpoint. To exaggerate a bit - I can't imagine my relatives sending my obit to Costco to let them know that I died, since I'm a member. I'd guess that many are sent in by fellow hams- and maybe the world is just a little different from how I imagine it and people do take the time.

    I'm looking through the QST archives to see if my grandfather was ever mentioned; he died maybe 15 years ago. If not, maybe I'll be one of those that takes the time to send in his obit - because ARRL is nice enough to recogize folks in QST.
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